West Bengal Chief Minister and All-India Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, in a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Wednesday that it only knew divisive politics.“Divide and rule is the only politics the BJP has mastered. The saffron party creates rifts between Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Christians, Biharis and Bengalis and Odias and Bengalis,” she told reporters at Puri.Ms. Banerjee is on a three-day visit to Odisha.“We will not allow the divisive politics to succeed. We always put India first in our politics. It is a fact that the BJP espouses a whole lot of issues, but they have nothing to do with the people,” she said.On her reported comment supporting beef consumption, Ms. Banerjee said: “Nobody has the right to issue dietary prescriptions. The Constitution authored by B.R. Ambedkar is a secular one.” Visits templeIn the evening, Ms. Banerjee went to Shree Jagannath Temple under tight security. A servitor had threatened to prevent her entry into the temple for openly supporting beef consumption.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday questioned Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s silence over triple talaq and declared that he would keep coming to Bihar till a BJP government in installed in the State in 2020.On his maiden visit to Bihar, Mr Adityanath also heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welfare programmes and policies for the common people of the country.“Why your (Nitish Kumar) voice is not heard on the issue of triple talaq? Why hasn’t the Bihar government come out with its opinion on triple talaq?” he asked while addressing his first public meeting in Darbhanga after becoming the chief minister.Mr Adityanath was also supposed to address a public meeting in Patna on June 16 as part of the BJP’s Modi fest on the completion of three years of the Central government but the meeting was cancelled.Addressing an impressive crowd, the UP CM told the youth that the “time has come to change the government in Bihar for making development in accordance with the Modi government at the Centre.”“Why despite all their talent the youth of Bihar have to migrate from the state and suffer?” he asked.Striking an emotional and religious chord, he said “eastern UP is Bihar-II and it’s been a 1,000 year-old tradition.”Strong ties“I want to have a strong relationship between UP and Bihar and very soon a four-lane road from Ayodhya to Sitamarhi named Maa Janaki Marg will come up to make this bond stronger,” Mr Adityanath said amid occasional cheer and clapping from the youthful crowd.Hitting out at the alliance between Mr Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, he said “it appears to be a mismatch marriage. But, a safai abhiyan (clean campaign) is to start in Bihar soon.”He also dared Mr Kumar to close all slaughter houses in the State. “All illegal slaughter houses were closed in UP in 24 hours. Will Nitish Kumar do it in Bihar too?” Adityanath asked.Referring to the ‘anti-Romeo’ squads in his State, Mr Adityanath said “security is guaranteed in the BJP government which it provides to girls and women. We believe in PM Modi government’s slogan of sabka saath, sabka vikas.”
After triggering a political discussion by visiting Hindu religious sites in Gujarat during the Assembly elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday paid obeisance at a temple in Rae Bareli on his maiden visit to the Nehru-Gandhi bastion after taking over the party leadership from his mother. Mr. Gandhi visited the Hanuman temple at Churuwa in Rae Bareli and participated in the Makar Sankranti puja at Salon. The Congress was prompt in releasing the pictures of Mr. Gandhi, a red tika smeared on his forehead, performing the Khichdi daan, with saffron and yellow threads tied to his wrist. Followed by party workers and leaders, Mr. Gandhi’s cavalcade travelled all the way from the Lucknow airport, where he received a grand reception, to Amethi, passing through pockets of Rae Bareli. He had a stopover at a dhaba at Nighohan where he savoured hot pakoras and tea in kullad-pots in the company of Congress leaders, including PCC president Raj Babbar. Before leaving for Amethi, he addressed a nukkad sabha at Salon, criticising the Modi government over the plight of potato farmers, the GST, unemployment and “step motherly treatment” meted out to Amethi and Rae Bareli. He accused Mr. Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of failure to keep promises.
A senior BJP MP from Maharashtra Chintaman Wanga died in New Delhi on Tuesday, said doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. He was 67.The presentation of the Union Budget on February 1 is unlikely to be affected by Mr. Wanga’s death, sources in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry said.An obituary reference would be read out by the speaker on February 1 when the House meets. There are no sittings of Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday.Last year, the government went ahead with Budget presentation despite the demise of IUML leader E. Ahamed, who had collapsed during the President’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses. The House did not meet the next day as a mark of respect.Mr. Wanga, a three-time MP, was brought dead to the hospital around 11.15 a.m. after collapsing in his Ferozeshah Road residence in the national capital.He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.His body will be taken to his village in Kawad in Talasari where the last rites will be performed on Wednesday, family sources said.“He was brought to RML hospital around 11.15 a.m. We tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes but he could not be revived. He was declared brought dead at around 11.45 a.m,” the hospital’s medical superintendent Dr. V.K. Tiwary said.The cause of the death is being investigated, sources added.Mr. Wanga, who was born on June 1, 1950, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Palghar in Maharashtra. He was a Member of the 11th and the 13th Lok Sabha as well.An advocate by profession, he was the Thane district president of the BJP from 1990 to 1996. He was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development and the Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs.In his early days, Mr. Wanga stayed in the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra at Talsari. He was closely associated with right-wing leader Madhavrao Kane and studied law in a college in Bhiwandi.In 1996, he was elected to the Lok Sabha as an MP from the Dahanu (ST) constituency and re-elected in 1999.In 2009, he was elected MLA from the Vikramgadh Assembly constituency.Mr. Wanga fought for the formation of a separate Palghar district, which came into existence on August 1, 2014. He had also vigorously taken up the issue of Dahanu Nashik railway link, but it is yet see the light of day.Condoling his death, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Mr. Wanga was a very good functionary of the party and did a good job in the tribal belt of Thane district.“He took whatever role the party gave him and worked for the party even during hostile conditions. His demise is very sad and unfortunate…my condolences on behalf of the party and the government,” he said.He added that Mr. Wanga had appeared unwell the past few days. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, expressed grief over the senior leader’s death.“Shocked and saddened to know about the sudden demise of our MP from Palghar Shri Chintaman Vanga ji who was known for his simplicity,” Mr. Fadnavis tweeted.Several other leaders, including Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde and MP Supriya Sule, also condoled his demise.
A Class IV student of a prestigious boarding school in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district was found hanging in a hostel room, the police said on Sunday.The hostel superintendent of the school found the boy hanging from an iron rod in the room on Saturday night. The boy was rushed to Darjeeling district hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.The boy, a native of Patna in Bihar, did not have his dinner last night. So the hostel superintendent went in search of him and found him hanging, they said.
Sunita Mallah could only salvage a pair of clothes, two little cots, a buffalo, a plate, a spoon and a tumbler. Though the water level had been constantly rising for days, slowly but steadily, she did not anticipate that, by Saturday evening, her semi-pucca hut would get submerged in the swelling Ganga.‘Everything drowned’“The water rose swiftly and, while we still deciding on evacuation, it reached chest-high. We could not take out anything. Everything we had, drowned. Only our lives were saved,” says Ms. Sunita, sitting on a cot, her children, two of them still in their school uniform, by her side.After escaping the flooded Devipurva village in Unnao on a boat along with her family, Sunita, who belongs to a community of traditional boatmen, a Backward Class, took shelter on a bridge connecting the district to Kanpur’s Bithoor. All that they, along with dozens of other families, have for shelter are makeshift tarpaulin tents. With little or no cash, they are surviving on relief material and food packets provided by the administration, even as the river remains in its swollen state.“The last time we saw such was situation was in 2011. We had to evacuate to another area. There is nothing to shelter us except for this tarpaulin. If it rains heavily again, we won’t have anything to protect us,” says another Mallah woman, also named Sunita. The flood damaged all her crops, mattresses and clothes. Depressed by the annual flood situation along the Ganga, she lashes out at the government for failing to provide a permanent solution.“Every time there is a flood, they provide us food packets, that’s all,” she says.80 deadThe recent bout of heavy rainfall has caused havoc in parts of U.P., with at least 80 persons dead since September 1, and over 2,000 houses and huts damaged or submerged, with territory of over 1.12 lakh hectares affected.According to the Uttar Pradesh Disaster Management Authority, on Thursday evening, there were still 153 marooned villages and 805 flood-affected villages in the State, directly impacting over 5 lakh people. On Thursday, 18 deaths were reported, with four each in Unnao and Faizabad, and two each in Rampur and Gonda, and 158 homes were damaged.According to Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar, till 5 p.m., 47,470 people had been evacuated to safe spots, while 21,629 were living in 170 relief camps across the State.In Unnao alone, 32,453 persons were rescued from 17 villages and more than 12,000 people are currently living in 32 relief camps. “I don’t know how long we will carry on like this. I have nine animals to take care of. Two calves have already taken ill and cannot walk any more,” says Ram Janaki of Babu Bangali village.Suresh Mallah, who is listening to the conversation, adds that the waters damaged all his vegetable crops and animal fodder, and drowned two goats. “The wall of my house fell and my goats panicked and jumped out, only to drown,” said Mr. Suresh.Temporary relief The administration is shifting rescued persons to the nearest temples or schools for temporary relief. Videos of affected areas shared by the villagers showed many homes submerged completely. Many rivers across the State continued to be swollen. The Ganga was flowing over the danger mark in Naraura in Bulandshahr, Kachlabridge in Budaun, Fatehgarh in Farukkhabad and Ballia, while the Ghagra had crossed dangerous levels in Barabanki, Ayodhya and Ballia.In Shahjahanpur, the Ramganga was also above the red mark, so was the Sharda in Lakhimpur Kheri and Kuano in Chandriphat in Gonda.
The Mizoram Presbyterian Church, the largest Christian denomination in the State, has issued “moral guidelines” for political parties and candidates ahead of the election to the 40-member Assembly this year-end.More than 87% of the 1.12 million people in the State are Christians, mostly associated with churches of 14 denominations. “We expect all candidates to abide by the laws of the land, not to make promises they cannot keep and abstain from collaborating with the underground and other elements that will affect the integrity and communal harmony of Mizoram,” it said in a statement. It also asked the parties to choose candidates obedient to the laws of the nation and those of the church.“The church supports the ₹20 lakh ceiling for election expenditure fixed by the Election Commission of India,” it said, appealing to all affiliated churches to read out the decree in church services and distribute leaflets to all members. The Presbyterian Church has over six lakh members.Issuing election guidelines has been a practice for the church in Mizoram and Nagaland. Church organisations have been vocal about legislative and judicial measures considered contrary to Christian beliefs. For instance, Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee, an umbrella organisation of the churches, rejected the Supreme Court’s ruling on Article 277 and said homosexuality should remain criminalised.
Niwari will become the 52nd district of Madhya Pradesh, with effect from October 1.A proposal to this effect was cleared by the state Cabinet on Saturday. IAS officer Akshay Kumar Singh (2010-batch) will hold the interim charge of the first District Collector of the new district till further orders, a state government order to this effect on Saturday said.Akshay Kumar Singh is Director, Cultural and Religious Endowments Department.
Days after he referred to Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United president Nitish Kumar as his “elder brother”, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday slammed Mr. Kumar asking him to show his “DNA report”.“The people of Bihar want to know what has come out in your DNA report. Why did you call me neech (demeaned person)?,” Mr. Kushwaha said while addressing a party meeting in Muzaffarpur. His comments come after Mr. Kumar, while responding to a question on Mr. Kushwaha in Patna on Saturday, said, “Please don’t take the level of your debate so low”. Earlier in the day, State JD(U) chief Basistha Narayan Singh had said that all was well in the NDA over seat-sharing as Mr. Kushwaha’s recent remarks had been “positive”.
A House Committee of the Odisha Assembly, which probed the charges of breach of privilege allegedly committed by defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, submitted its report to the Speaker on the opening day of the winter session of the Assembly on Friday.The report of the six-member committee, headed by Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra, along with its recommendations will be tabled in the House on Saturday.The Committee was formed after the Speaker allowed a privilege motion moved by Mr. Mishra.Mr. Iyer-Mitra had first appeared before the Committee on October 23 and apologised for his remarks against the legislators.The defence analyst is in judicial custody following his arrest in two cases filed against him — at Sahid Nagar police station in Bhubaneswar and Konark police station in Puri district.
After Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, now SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal on Friday played down his appearance in a photograph with a “pro-Khalistan” leader in Pakistan. Asked to comment on sharing a frame with “separatist” Gopal Singh Chawla at the ground breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan, Mr. Longowal said he was only following the seating arrangements at the function. “I sat at the designated place only as per the protocol fixed by Pakistan authorities. How would I have known who was sitting next to me? I had never met Chawla in my life and did not recognise him. The issue is unnecessarily being raked up,” he said. Chawla is the general secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and is known to speak for “Khalistan”. On Thursday, Mr. Sidhu upon his return home from the event in Pakistan, had played down his appearance in a photograph with Chawla in Pakistan. He had come under a sharp attack from Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal after a picture from the ceremony showed him with Chawla. Chawla had shared the purported picture on his Facebook page.Mr. Sidhu had said he had posed with several people and it was difficult to distinguish them. Meanwhile, Mr. Longowal informed that the Pakistan government was making arrangements to observe the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev next year. He said the PSGPC has invited him for the same and he has accepted the invitation.Mr. Longowal expressed concern over the plight of some gurdwaras in Pakista, which he said were found in a dilapidated condition.
After public outrage, Kashmir’s top government-run Lal Ded Hospital on Saturday ordered an inquiry into the death of a newborn after the mother delivered the baby outside the hospital in sub-zero temperature. “The incident needs a thorough inquiry to take an appropriate action in case of negligence. The Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, is directed to enquire into the matter and furnish a report within two days,” reads the order of the Divisional Commissioner-Kashmir, Basheer Khan.A family alleged that a pregnant woman from the far-off village of Kupwara, over 100 km away from Srinagar, was denied admission in the hospital on Friday evening, forcing the mother to deliver the baby by the roadside in sub-zero temperature. She delivered a still-born baby, alleged the family.“The doctor has been attached. The doctor said the patient was not in labour and she was sent back,” said Medical Superintendent, Lal Ded Hospital, Dr. Shabir Siddique.The pregnant woman had braved heavy snow on the ground to reach the Srinagar hospital from Kupwara, where locals put her on a cot first and trudged through snow for several kilometres to reach the district headquarters and then the State capital. Locals in Kashmir took to the social media to express their outrage over the incident.The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), a body of doctors, demanded an impartial probe on a fast track basis to ascertain the facts and punish the guilty. “It is disgusting, unfortunate and pathetic that a pregnant woman, from Kalaroos in Kupwara, 150 km away from the Lal Ded Hospital, was denied admission,” said DAK president Dr. Suhail Naik.Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah demanded strict action in the tragic case.“Heart wrenching that a pregnant woman was turned away from a hospital, which ironically is named after the great Kashmiri mystic saint Lal Ded. She later gave birth to a still-born in frigid temperatures,” said Ms. Mufti.“I hope the State functionaries working under the command of the Governor will take immediate action in this tragic case,” said Mr. Abdullah.
Three CRPF personnel were reportedly killed in a case of ‘fratricide’ inside a camp in Jammu on Wednesday night, local officials said.An official said one constable Ajit Kumar opened fire from a service rifle and killed three colleagues of 187th Battalion stationed at Battal Ballian area in Jammu’s Udhampur.“The incident took place around 10 p.m. Kumar also injured himself critically and was shifted to a hospital,” a district administration official told news agencies in Jammu.Preliminary reports suggest the constable opened fire after an altercation. However, the CRPF has not officially divulged any details about the incident.Constable Kumar hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The deceased were identified as head constables Pokarmal R of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Yogendra Sharma of Delhi and Umed Singh of Rewari in Haryana.
Researchers have created a radio so tiny that almost seven would fit on the face of a penny. The device runs without a battery; instead it uses “power harvesting,” a process by which it recovers and uses energy from the same waves that carry signals to its antenna. Even if the radio chip did need a battery, a single AAA battery has enough power to run it for more than a century, researchers reported at the 2014 Symposium on VLSI Circuits Digest of Technical Papers. Many components of the radio had to be scaled down to fit onto the tiny silicon chip; the antenna, for example, is one-tenth the size of a Wi-Fi antenna—and yet, it runs at a fast speed of 24 billion cycles per second. The tiny radios cost only a few cents to manufacture, the researchers say, and such devices are key to the next wave of wireless devices; eventually they could link together gadgets like smart phones with everyday objects, which will then be able to make decisions with minimal human intervention.
Clostridium difficile infections kill approximately 14,000 Americans every year, often because the diarrhea-causing bacteria are highly resistant to standard antibiotics. Now, scientists have found an unusual way to combat the bugs: human feces in pill form. Doctors have used so-called fecal transplants since the 1950s to combat various types of infections. The treatment is thought to work by restoring the gut’s natural balance of bacteria, which can outcompete the invading microbes for resources. Typically, physicians insert the donor feces rectally through a colonoscopy or a plastic tube running into the nose or mouth and down to the stomach. While these procedures are both relatively safe, they are not entirely devoid of risk. In the new study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers show that frozen fecal matter encapsulated in clear, 1.6 g synthetic pills (not pictured) was just as safe and effective as traditional fecal transplant techniques at treating C. difficile. Within 8 weeks or less, 18 out of 20 participants saw a complete resolution of diarrhea after consuming 30 or 60 of the feces-filled capsules. “It’s probably not the best experience of your life,” says team leader Ilan Youngster, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Harvard University. “But it beats getting a tube stuck down your throat or a colonoscopy … or having C. diff.”
Indian-American business leader Indra Nooyi, who headed the multinational PepsiCo, is under consideration for heading the World Bank, according to multiple media reports.If she is nominated by US President Donald Trump to be the Bank’s president, she will succeed Jim Yong Kim, a Korean immigrant who unexpectedly announced at the beginning of the year that he is quitting.Read it at India TV News Related Items
Indian Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the country’s aviation regulatory body, to get a report from British Airways over an Indian bureaucrat’s allegations that his family was deboarded from a flight in the United Kingdom over his child’s crying.“I have directed the DGCA to obtain detailed report from British Airways on the issue,” Prabhu tweeted.I have directed the DGCA to obtain detailed report from British Airways on the issue. https://t.co/57Gjvu4CAP— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) August 9, 2018The alleged incident took place when AP Pathak, a Joint Secretary-level officer in the Indian Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, was travelling from London to Berlin on a British Airways flight (BA 8495) on July 23.Pathak, who lodged a complaint about his ordeal to British Airways, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Prabhu, said that the family was subjected to “humiliation and racial behavior” by the airline crew, and made to deplane because his three-year-old child was crying. Another Indian family who offered a biscuit to the child to comfort him was also deboarded, Pathak said.According to him, after they boarded the plane, the child felt uncomfortable with the seatbelt and started crying. Pathak’s wife then took the boy in her arms and comforted him. A male crew member then approached the family and scolded the boy, asking him to go back to his seat, news agency ANI reported.The child got further terrified due to the stern behavior of the male crew member, and started crying inconsolably, Pathak said. “My wife again put the boy on his designated seat and fastened the seat-belt, even though he kept on crying intensively being in a terrified state of mind due to the scolding by the male crew member,” he wrote in the letter to Prabhu, PTI reported.An Indian family sitting at the back offered biscuits to the child to console him. When the aircraft started moving towards the runway, the crew member came back, shouting, “You bloody keep quiet, otherwise you would be thrown out of the window,” the report added.The plane was then taken back to the terminal, where the same male crew member approached the two families with security personnel and their boarding passes were taken away. The customer care service manager of the airline did not give them any reasons for deplaning them, and the management did not take action against the crew despite lodging a complaint, Pathak said.Though the other family was given tickets for a flight the next day, Pathak said they had to make their own arrangements for staying and travelling to Berlin the next day, which cost them a “very hefty amount.”A spokesperson for the airline said a probe has been initiated into Pathak’s complaint. “We take such claims very seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have started a full investigation and are in contact with the customer,” the spokesperson said, according to the news agency. Related ItemsAviationBritish Airways
A federal court in New Jersey, United States, has fined the American branch of Indian company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Inc. for $5 million in a civil penalty case. The court told the company to not repeat its violation in packaging, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Dr. Reddy’s has not admitted that it violated the law.The Indian-origin company failed to comply with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Justice Department said in a statement on Jan. 19. Under the terms of the consent decree, Dr. Reddy’s will implement a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the two acts.“Dr. Reddy’s failed to ensure that children were protected from potentially harmful prescription drugs,” Chad A. Readler, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said. “The government will continue to take seriously alleged violations of laws meant to protect consumer safety.”Dr. Reddy’s was said to knowingly violate the CPSA with respect to household oral prescription drugs in blister packs that were not child resistant as required by the PPPA. As set forth in the complaint, Dr. Reddy’s distributed such prescription drugs until 2012, even though it was warned by its own employees that the packs were not tested for PPPA compliance and that certain blister packs were expected to fail the PPPA’s child test protocol.In the complaint, it was also alleged that Dr. Reddy failed to notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) “immediately,” as required by law. Ideally, the firm should have informed the PPPA that the products contained a defect presenting a substantial product hazard, and that the products created an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. They reportedly also failed to certify that the products conformed to the norms of the PPPA.“Child-resistant packaging is a critical safety measure put in place to protect our country’s children,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “I appreciate and value the support from and collaboration with the Department of Justice.”According to the consent decree, Dr. Reddy’s has to maintain internal controls and procedures designed to ensure timely, truthful, complete, and accurate reporting to the CPSC as required by law. Related ItemsMedicineUnited States
An Indian-origin man in the United States has pleaded guilty to using false documents to fraudulently procure H-1B visas for foreign workers and submitting false tax returns. He was earlier charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and subscribing to false tax returns, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.New York-based Sowrabh Sharma, 33, owns two IT staffing and consulting companies. He pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court on Feb. 1.Sharma faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the visa fraud conspiracy count and three years in prison on the tax fraud count. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30, 2018.Sharma and others working at the two information technology firms — SCM Data Inc., a New Jersey corporation, and MMC Systems Inc., a Virginia corporation, lied about hiring full-time foreign workers in order to secure H-1B visas for years, U.S. attorney Craig Carpenito said.He added that in reality and contrary to immigration laws, these workers were often “benched” without pay while the companies created false documents to cover up the scheme. “This investigation, which has resulted in the conviction of an owner and several employees, including an immigration attorney, shows that businesses that use the H-1B visa program better do so with the utmost adherence to this nation’s immigration and labor laws,” Carpenito said.According to the case documents and statements made in court, the two IT companies offered consultants to clients who required IT support. Both companies recruited foreign nationals with supposed IT expertise. These were often student visa holders or recent college graduates.“Sharma admitted today that from 2010 through April 2015, he and others falsely represented to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) that dozens of foreign workers had full-time in-house positions, and would be paid an annual salary, as required to secure the visas,” said the statement.Sharma also admitted that he and his companies only paid the foreign workers when they were placed at a third-party client, or a company that entered into a contract for services with SCM Data and MMC Systems.In addition, Sharma also confessed that in some cases foreign workers who were “benched” between projects and were not working were told that if they wanted to continue having their H-1B visa status, they would have to come up with what their gross wages would be in cash and give it to the two IT companies he owned to generate fraudulent payroll checks.“Sharma also admitted that he intentionally overstated and claimed false expenses pertaining to SCM Data and MMC Systems on his individual tax returns for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, resulting in a tax loss to the United States of approximately dollar 1,114,824,” the statement added.Peter Nozka, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General New York Region said that Sharma misused the H-1B program in order to enrich himself at the expense of the foreign workers he sponsored for H-1B visas. “His company submitted false documents to the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security in order to perpetrate this fraud,” he added.In 2016, Sharma was arrested after an indictment charged him, the two IT companies that he owned, as well as Shikha Mohta, 33, of New Jersey, with fraudulently using the H-1B visa program to reduce skilled labor costs. Mohta was the head of finance for the companies and they were all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to obstruct justice and one count of conspiracy to harbor aliens. Related ItemsH-1B visaIndian AmericanUnited States